Air Impact to Health – What can particles do to your health?
Air Pollution Can Impair Brain Function
For most people, it's easy to see how air pollution can have a negative impact on respiratory health. After all, it is inhaled into the lungs and through the passageways of the respiratory system; also, anyone who's ever been in the midst of a lot of smoke, like a bonfire, knows how it can make you cough and splutter. Indeed, the impact that air pollution has on the lungs and on breathing is apparent, but a couple of new studies show a tentative link between pollution and reduced brain performance that is sure to surprise you.
New Information about Pollution and the Human Brain
Hundreds of studies have delved into the effects of air pollution and the respiratory system; far fewer have taken closer looks at the relationship between pollution and the brain. That is beginning to change, though, as several highly respected research groups are examining the ways that air pollution may affect the human brain. Two of the most recent studies, one by the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, and the other by a joint effort between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Harvard University present some truly eye-opening information.
The Columbia Study
In the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health study, which was authored by epidemiologist and director Frederica Perera, New York City five-year-olds were the subject of the research in question. The study found that five-year-olds who had been exposed to higher than usual levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH, while still in utero had IQ levels four points lower than those who weren't exposed to such elevated levels of PAH. The study was conducted by having expectant mothers wear air monitors during their pregnancies, and IQ tests were administered to the children around age five.
The Harvard/UNC-Chapel Hill Study
If news that PAH may play a role in lowered IQs in children isn't revelatory enough, the joint study by Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may be. The 2008 study took a look at a group of people aged twenty to fifty years and found connections between elevated levels of ozone and reduced attention spans, slower reaction times and compromised short term memories. With this study, it is apparent that air pollution's effects on the brain strike people of all ages and at all levels of development.
What the Studies Mean
Based on these two recent studies and on several others that are constantly being conducted, it is plain to see that a link of some sort does exist between elevated levels of air pollution and impaired brain function. The Columbia study, in particular, should concern parents-to-be who want to give their children the best start on life possible. Escaping to the country from the smog-filled city, though, really isn't good enough. Indoor air quality is a major concern, and since most of us spend the majority of our time inside our homes it's safe to say that it plays a major role in the pollutants that we breathe.
Air pollution from traffic impairs brain - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/8815901/Air-pollution-from-traffic-impairs-brain.html